Ihave always been a fan of coming of age movies which include young actors in starring roles and have followed the careers of youngsters like Fred Savage, Elijah Woods, Haley Joel Osment, Josh Hutcherson, Thomas Sangster, Freddie Highmore, and more recently Troye Sivan, and Jaden Smith.
Now, along comes newcomer Joel Courtney, who more than captivated my interest in his portrayal of Joe Lamb, in “Super 8”, J.J. Abrams’s 1979-set film about a group of kids who witness a spectacular train crash while attempting to film a horror flick.
This movie was more than what I even expected. With all the Hollywood special effect films that have come out recently, I have sometimes walked away feeling disenchanted due to a lame storyline or poor acting. This film was a pleasure to watch largely due to the cast of youngsters who portrayed their roles with professionalism that would usually be expected from much more experienced actors. I was quickly drawn into the story because they convinced me that I was more than an observer but one who was a part of their unique company of friends.
Of course it’s no secret that I’m a Sci-fi Action Adventure freak, but I also enjoy a good drama that causes you to think, not just duck bullets or things flying out of the screen at you. This film did both for me. Not only was it exciting, with a crazy unknown alien creature running about destroying things and striking fear into the small town of citizens, but it also wove a wonderful story of friendship, understanding, grief, and emotion which must be seen in its entirety to be fully enjoyed
The success of this movie is not found in the special effects even though my hat is off to Steven Spielberg for once again captivating me with his amazing film producing talents. It’s this group of young actors that really brought the story to life, making the unbelievable convincingly real, through the excellent portrayals of their characters.
While I don’t usually write this kind of article and leave it for the pros like Skykid I just could not go to sleep until I created a new publication on my site. Who knows this may not be a first and last movie review by Rivenmaster!
You see, I just returned home from viewing “The Karate Kid” movie starring young Jaden Smith as Dre Parker. I must say that I was really disappointed! You ask why? Because I’m usually right in what my expectations of a movie are going to be. I have been very disappointed in the past with copycat films. And I just did not believe that there could ever be another film that could match the original staring Ralph Macchio. Having all three of the Karate Kid Films from the series in my personal collection and refusing to purchase the ones that followed due to their lame stories I was expecting to see just another copycat. Instead I was overjoyed and enthralled with this remake to the point that I must say that I personally feel it was better than the original film.
While Jaden, due to his relationship, will most likely always stand in the shadow of his father (Will Smith), I can truly say that Jaden stands alone as the best choice in the casting for this role. I noticed in the credits that Will Smith was one of the producers of the film so we can be doubly proud of the Smith family’s contribution to this gem of a movie! Truly, Jaden proved himself to be an actor in his own right and he stands in nobody’s shadow in this regard. The chemistry which builds between his instructor Mr. Han, Jackie Chan is unspeakably magic! There is a touching scene in which Mr. Han explains the loss of his family to young Dre. We watched through tears of our own, the tears that flow down both of their faces. Jackie Chan has always had a comedic side to most of his films, even in the midst of action, but never have I seen him play such a dramatic role so well! I can’t say enough about how these two actors together drew me into the film causing me to experience every hurt, pain, anguish, and overwhelming joy of victory that played throughout the film. Over all the entire cast did splendidly with their portrayal of their characters. In fact I think what made this film for me was that they actually used younger children in these roles rather than the middle age teens in the original. The coming of age time in life is always the hardest. Working through finding out who you are, where you stack up in the world, along with the new feelings for the opposite sex and the confusion of adult worries starting to creep in makes this an even more powerful film as it addresses each issue.
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The cinematography was magnificent with every shot carefully thought out! The splendid colors and the beautiful scenery of China’s Forbidden City in Beijing was breathtaking. I was sitting down in front which is not always where I sit, but I was so glad I did as this scenery just enveloped me making me desire to reach out and touch the great walls and climb the steps to the top of that glorious mountain. The music score was also done in a way that added to the film rather than distract from it. When I come out of a movie saying I want to look for that soundtrack you can guarantee that the audio team performed their work in style. Of course all the young girls had to be happy with the trailer music as Justin Bieber sings his song “Never Say Never”
I close this review with one last statement of endorsement! Don’t wait for the DVD on this movie. You will miss too much watching it on anything smaller than what it was intended for, The Large Screen! Buy a bag of your favorite treats, a soda, and be sure your best friend is sitting next to you! Because you are in for over two hours of pure enjoyment !